Categories
Health Inspiration

Top 8 Tips on self-care

As I have spent the last few weeks running around like a headless chicken prepping for the arrival of the baby, I forgot to take the time to take care of little old me. I know that I won’t get much time to do so after baby come for a few months until I am all settled. So I figured will take the time now for myself and enjoy it while it lasts. Spending time with my husband (who’s here for baby’s birth) is giving me the nudge to put it all aside and focus on us but mostly me. There is nothing wrong with a little selfish time to take care of your own needs, besides if you’re happy, then everyone else around you will be happy. You will radiate positive energy and that is always inspiring.

Here are my top tips on self-care and how you get to enjoy yourself and be all relaxed.

1) SKIN CARE

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That is like my holy grail of self-care. I am not going to lie; I am a huge sucker when it comes to skincare. I like to splurge because I feel like if I am good in my own skin, then I am more confident and I feel like I can conquer the world. Good skin gives me the push to put myself out there. I know I struggled in that department quite a bit when I was younger, but I learned that when working with good products (pricey or not), you will achieve your goal to perfect skin. I am super indulgent when it comes to masks and I like to do it whenever I have time. Back when I was single, it was a daily ritual for me…but since getting married, I have slacked a bit, perhaps because I have less free time on my hands. However, I vowed to get back to it, because it makes me happy! So ladies, mask away! Trust me, you’ll feel better!

2) WATER

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This is pretty obvious but I tend to forget to hydrate and it just makes me feel sluggish, lethargic and causes me to have headaches. Well, headaches no more because I am getting back on track. I find it quite hard sometimes to replenish on the H2O but it is the essence of our existence. I sometimes go a full day not even drinking 1 cup of water and I realize it is bad for me…but I just don’t think of it. However, now, I have a refillable water bottle with me and I spend most of my day with it in my hands so that I remember to drink up and stay hydrated. It not only helps me with headache, but it also helps me with my skin. It’s much more hydrated and smooth; I don’t feel like a lizard anymore. Staying hydrated helps your body detox hence giving you more energy to be out and about doing your thing!

3) EXERCISE

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I have always been an active girl…since I was little and I am not about to let it go. However, since hitting the third trimester, feeling heavy and tired weren’t helping me in that department. The least I would do these days is take a walk and trying to get to 10 000 steps as a goal. Most day, not gonna lie, I don’t get to my goal, but at least I know I tried. I always loved to exercise as a means to detox my brain from bad thoughts and bad energy—yes it was also for my body, but mostly for my mental health. I was always a pretty angry child and stress was eating me up, so the only way I found to let that all go was through working out. I did everything anyone could possibly do, like zumba, pilates, yoga, dance, you name it!!! As long as I move, I am happy and I cannot wait to get back into working out, because I always feel much healthier and much happier. Work out ladies! Work out for your mental health!!!

4) READ

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When I was little, I remember eating up books for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I loved loved loved reading! It was our things as a family when we were little…going to the library every weekend was a ritual and we all loved it so much. As the years went by, I slowly started losing that habit and it makes me quite sad that I let it go. Reading feeds your soul! It transports you to worlds undiscovered and it helps your imagination flow and your brain to be in working gear rather than being lazy. Taking the time to read before bed helps you relax and forget about the burdens you may carry. Taking the time to read a book daily is a challenge but a good one because you know you’re doing yourself some good. I am slowly getting back into it and I am enjoying it so far.

5) DO WHAT YOU LOVE

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I have always been an advocate about pushing people into doing what they love because I know what it feels like. That pure beautiful raw rush that you get when you do something you love is irreplaceable. We live only once and taking the time to do something you love, whatever it may be is fulfilling and satisfying. Living your dreams is not impossible, we just need to let go of our fears and our limitations. Impossible is nothing! I try as much as possible to have a little list of things I wish to do and cross it off slowly and man is it amazing to know that you can! Even if it seems silly to others, do it anyway. Like blogging, or vlogging or riding a bike even, whatever it may be, do it for you and only you and never listen to what others have to say. It is easy for others to judge you…or humans judging each other in general, but fuck it and live the moment and live your dreams because you never know when your time will come. Even though I am going to be a mom very soon, I will still have that list close to my heart and accomplish whatever I can because I know that the happier I am, the happier my little family will be.

6) MEDITATE

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Very much like exercising for many, meditating is food for your soul. For me, it is what gives me the power and the energy to keep the show going. Taking 30 minutes daily for yourself to pray, meditate or simply reflect on your life and your purpose should be enough to keep you happy. For me it’s praying and I find that when I take the time to pray, I feel less anxious, less stressed and less disoriented. I, like many other women around the world, tend to be very hard on myself and demand a lot more of myself than I can give and that is a sucky attitude to have. We women feel like we need to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders and we want to take care of it all and if we don’t, well we feel like failures. But let me tell you ladies, we do a lot more than men do (not being sexist—its’ just fact), but we still cannot accept it and still want to do more. This is why mediation is important because you take the time to reflect on your life and take the time to love yourself more, appreciate yourself more and respect yourself more.

7) EAT HEALTHY

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Not saying we can’t indulge and eat that greasy burger or eat those crispy fries, I am saying be balanced. Life is not about forbidding yourself from enjoying the bounties given to you; it’s about knowing when to indulge and when to restrain yourself. However, eating healthy keeps your body in check and keeps you active and happy. Eating healthy keeps you from feeling sluggish and tired and that should be your number one priority. Your body is your temple and taking care of it will keep you positive. Besides, eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, it can be creative and exciting; you just have to learn a few tricks.

8) SLEEP

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Last but not least, sleep! Sleep people!!!! That is probably one thing I am struggling with lately and will struggle with for a little while longer. The less sleep I get, the more tired I feel, the grumpier I feel, and the less motivated I feel. Despite having less sleep, I still try to stay active…but some days I just want to be a couch potato. I suffered from insomnia for the longest time and was able to run on little to no sleep sometimes but lately I have been wanting to cocoon and sleeeepp. But man, I can’t help but feel guilty whenever I feel the need to nap because I feel like I could be more productive to the universe. However, it is good to sleep and when you feel like taking little naps, do so, because when you are rested, your body and mind are stronger and you have the power to do anything you want to do.

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So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, treat yourselves with love and dignity and don’t be afraid to tell yourselves that you’re doing great; it doesn’t mean you’re a show-off or a self-centred asshole, it just means you acknowledge that you are human and that you need a break. There is no harm in taking the time for yourselves and try to live without judgement and negativity. There’s only one life and you deserve to be happy, everyone deserves that!

Categories
Skin

I tried following the 10 step Korean skincare routine for a month and here’s what happened…

So as we all may know, Koreans take their skincare routine very seriously; so damn seriously that they have a whole 10 steps to follow. I already read about the benefits of their routines and their habits and the products they use. Some are pretty pricey and some are average and their skincare varies from creams to serums to ampoules to masks. After a month of trying this out, I gotta say it’s exhausting, but after some extensive research, I do realize that it is not required to do the full 10 steps on a daily, but rather to choose what to use according to the particular needs of your skin. Here are the deets…

Step One: Oil Cleanser

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Purpose of this step: The oil cleanser is applied to dry skin; an oil cleanser to help remove makeup and any other oil-based product debris like sunscreen and pollution particles.

What I used: I recently got on the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm bandwagon thanks to many obsessive review readings. There is no particular special texture or smell for this product, but it was soft and pleasant to use. It takes a little to get used to if you do not like the feel of oil on the skin; it was definitely weird for me to have an oily film on my skin but knowing that I could wash it right after didn’t make it too bad to bear. Every night, for a whole month, I first cleansed my face with this oil whether I had makeup or not.

Step Two: Foam Cleanser

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Purpose of this step: According to Koreans, the secret to perfect skin is to make sure it is fully clean before applying any other product…therefore, double cleansing is necessary because there, for sure, will be leftover gunk on your skin after one cleanse.

What I used: I never paid any consideration to the cleanser I used as long as it never made my skin dry. So I grabbed whatever was on the shelf at the drugstore and to be honest, other than the Cosrx Cleanser which I still love, I didn’t give it too much thought, so I figured there’s no harm for me to try a foam cleanser. I decided to try the Shiseido Extra Cream Cleansing Foam and I actually loved the double-cleanse step. This rich cream foams instantly and helps clean the skin in the smoothest way leaving you with fresh and supple skin filled with health and just oomph. It really felt like my skin was completely cleared of any bad particles, leaving a clean slate to work with for the rest of the regimen. This is probably the two steps I will stick with forever because clean skin feels truly amazing.

Step Three: Exfoliator

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Purpose of this step: It’s pretty obvious why we use exfoliators. I remember being quite obsessed with this step when I was younger, because it was the only way my skin felt super clean and fresh…and I may have been abusive with it to the point where I exfoliate almost daily which put a strain onto my sensitive skin. Too much of it can actually damage the skin rather than saving it. Granted, exfoliation not only cleans out clogged pores, but it also sloughs off dead skin cells as it removes the dull layer of cells to help reveal brighter skin.

What I used: I wanted something less abrasive because I already have quite dry skin now with the pregnancy. So I decided to stick to just using a glycolic acid exfoliator instead rather than bead filled cream. Although, when I do feel like my skin needs it, I do use a cream exfoliator once every two weeks in the shower for an extra boost. With the Pixi Glow Tonic, I could easily exfoliate away with a little cotton pad and be done in like  two seconds. Although I ended up not sticking to this step, it was still beneficial as glycolic acid is the Holy Grail for exfoliation because it helps effectively remove the outermost layer of dead cells from the complexion, revealing brighter, fresher skin. Glycolic Acid can also be used to treat scarring, skin discoloration and signs of aging.

Step Four: Toner

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Purpose of this step: According to Korean skincare experts, after cleansing so many times the skin becomes fragile, so it is really important to take the time to hydrate it and this is why toner is necessary because it acts as a way to prep the skin, so it’ll absorb the following treatments better.

What I used: I stuck with just using the rose water I was using from the beginning of my pregnancy. You can pretty much find rose water in your local organic food store and not spend a gazillion dollars. Didn’t want to go all out and purchase something just to try it…I was content with the results of the rose water. I still used this step, on and off, depending on how I feel and depending on the time I have to spend to prep my skin. At the beginning, I used a cotton pad but then I felt like I was wasting so much product and wasn’t getting all the benefits…therefore, I decided to just pour the liquid into my palms and patting onto my skin and this felt much more beneficial. This step really did help my skin feel plumper and more hydrated.

Step Five: Essence

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Purpose of this step: The essence is the heart of Korean skin care and it considered the most important part of their entire routine. The essence is a treatment that is similar to serums, boosters, or ampoules; but it’s more watery in consistency then the rest of those products, so it comes out like a toner.

What I used: Since I have used Cosrx before as a brand and felt like it wouldn’t cause me to break out massively or have an allergic reaction, I decided to try on of their essences. I went with the Advanced Snail Power Essence but honestly, although I finished up the bottle, I didn’t feel like it made a world of a difference, I mean I don’t feel like I need to continue with this step. It did feel luxurious and diva-like to splash the essence on my face but it was just meh for me.

Step Six: Serum, Boosters, or Ampoule Treatments

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Purpose of this step: This basically where you target your major needs and use these specific products to treat all the concerns you may have with your skin. This step is to work on issues that you may have such as brown spots, pigmentation, acne and more.

What I used: Since at the moment, I am having very good skin, I haven’t changed what I use. I have been using this particular serum for ages and will continue to do so because I really do actually see a difference in my skin whenever I stop using it. This Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum is a must for me because it helps me maintain a healthy, glowing, clean skin all year round. It helps brighten my complexion and even out my skin tone. This serum step is a regular in my skincare routine anyway so I didn’t feel like I had to go all out. My skin really does feel healthy with this serum and I do recommend it to anyone looking to remove any spots and pigmentation.

Step Seven: Mask

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Purpose of this step: The purpose of your mask depends on what your skin needs. You can choose to extra hydrate, to deep-clean or whatever depending on how your skin is on this particular day. This is not an every-night step, you really only need to do it twice a week.

What I used: Masking has been a ritual for me for ages! I cannot not use a mask, you know what I mean? It’s like the only way I feel like I unwind and relax. I use masks usually to relax but whenever I feel like I need to clear up my clogged pores or deep clean my skin, I reach for the heavy duty masks. There are a couple of masks that I use and it would be too long to go through them in this post…but I can definitely do another updates posts with my favourite masks of all time. I usually just reach for the Sephora Brand Sheet Masks depending on how I feel and they work great. There is no need to spend big money on masks as long as they truly work and deliver what they promise.

Step Eight: Eye Cream

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Purpose of this step: Depending on what you are looking for, this step could focus on everything from fine lines to dark circles. Basically, if you have any under eye concerns, “there’s” a cream for it.

What I used: I was never into eye creams to start with; I tried a gazillion cream from a gazillion different brand but never truly saw the benefit of any. According to my dermatologist, eye creams aren’t necessary anyway because they’re just like your regular moisturizer with a little less concentration in the ingredeints….so using your regular moisturizer around your eyes gently is way better than splurging your money of an eye cream that won’t do much anyway. I, for kicks, used to Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Night Cream and yup, as I predicted, nothing really changed. I mean it’s nice and bougie to use it, but I won’t keep spending 78$ for something that doesn’t work all that much.

Step Nine: Face Cream

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Purpose of this step: This step is simply to lock in skin’s moisture and it is the key to supple, younger-looking skin.

What I used: Even if you don’t end up following the 10 step skincare routine, moisturizer should be worn day and night. My current favourite is the Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream and I absolutely love it because it quenches my dehydrated skin so deeply. It freaking feels amazing on and I don’t feel greasy or icky after putting it on. Sucks that it’s always sold out at Sephora. It honestly does make a difference in the way my skin feels and since I have been using it, I haven’t felt a bit dry or irritated. I cannot stress how smooth my skin feels at the moment, like better than baby-butt smooth! I promise!

Step Ten: SPF

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Purpose of this step: Koreans (Asians in general) are really really obsessed with SPF. It seems self-explanatory, but sun protection is crucial on a daily basis to maintain healthy skin. Applying SPF regularly, even when it’s cloudy, that’s the biggest differentiator in the Korean regimen.

What I used: I usually apply my SPF after my moisturizer every morning. I love physical sunscreen because they contain mineral ingredients like Zinc Oxide and so they protect from both UVA and UVB rays. The one I am currently using is the Shiseido Oil-Free SPF. I mean we all know why SPF is important and so it is really important to make it a big habit to use this on a daily even when it rains and really when the sun’s too hot and out there.

After spending a whole month working up on this routine, I am not going to lie that it did feel like a chore on some days and it was sometimes annoying for me to go through everything daily. Whenever I felt like I needed to unwind, I love it! I loved doing the whole circus, but being real here, 10 steps as a new mum will be quite hard for me to maintain and so I will probably end up keeping 5 to 7 of these steps for the future. Quite frankly, if you do have the time for the 10 steps skincare routine, then go for it, because the benefits are really there and I do see results, but life everything else in life, it’s work and you need to be dedicated.

 

Categories
Beauty Hair Health Skin

Castor Oil

I remember my momma giving me castor oil to help ease my little constipation when I was a wee child. And I also remember how gross it was having the feeling of oil coat your throat…ugh! I’m scarred for life…just thinking about that makes me want to gag. So yeah, maybe I had a bad experience when I was a kid, but that doesn’t stop me from using Castor oil now. I, in fact, use it to detox once a year…yes, I drink it! Castor oil and hot water make an amazing stomach cleansing supplement. This hepls remove harmful bacteria from the gut and stomach. The harmful bacteria is replaced with health-friendly bacteria that ease digestion and reduce acidity and bloating. I get the organic one from the health shop and you can consume it as long as you make sure it’s food-grade.This little potent oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

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This oil is not only used as a laxative and system booster, it is also used in various cosmetics, soaps, textiles, massage oils, and even medicines. Castor oil has loads of benefits for your skin, hair, and health. I have been using this for a month now, once a week as a mask for my hair before I shower and let me tell you that the results have been amazing. My hair is freaking silky smooth and super healthy. It is no longer dry and parched! I have been using it on my lashes and brows as well. It helps the hair grow and become healthy.

Castor oil is also amazing when it comes to healing skin inflammation that can be caused by sunburns, acne, and dry skin. When applied to the skin, the oil penetrates deeply and stimulates the production of collagen. This, in turn, helps soften and hydrate the skin. It also helps in delaying the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Your skin becomes smoother, softer, and younger. You can also treat the fine lines around the eye area by applying the oil on the area and massaging it in slowly.

The  benefits of Castor oil are huge and I could keep going for hours about how amazing it has been for me. You can treat scars, reduce pigmentation, hydrate your skin, reduce scarring and the list goes on….You just need to make sure it’s a good quality cold pressed oil and you’re in it to win it.

Try it out and you won’t regret it. But obviously make sure you’re not allergic by doing a small test.

Hope you found this post informative…

 

Until next time xx

Categories
Skin

My go-to masks…

I’ve got about 99 masks I use, but 2 of my favorites are then ones I will talk about below. They don’t hurt my eczema-prone skin. Of course, I have always patch test with loads of products, since I sometimes ended up with burns..not fun when you have an event the next day this happens.

The reason why I take the time to always pamper y skin and take care of it is because I do not wear foundation and will not wear foundation because it is not really necessary to hide what we have. I understand makeup is a means of being artistic and expressing thyself. However, for me, I like to feel as natural as possible and let my skin breath. I’m a lipstick addict and that you’ll catch me wearing a ton…even on my teeth!

In order to have beautiful skin, it is imperative to take the necessary steps to get there. –I will write up a blog post soon about what I do to have healthy glowing skin- And masks for me are a ways to help maintaining healthier skin. These are the 2 masks I swear by:

1) Peter Thomas Roth-Pumpkin Enzyme Mask (72$ CAD)

Looking at how  much I spent on this mask makes me wants to gag. It’s expensive but trust me guys, this works wonders. I mean I would never spend money on just voidness. But this purchase is justifiable because it really works. It’s a potent mask that helps exfoliate the skin gently with pumpkin enzymes and AHA acids. It literally saves the skin when it’s revolting and starting up a war of zits and pimples (yes I am talking about that dreadful time of the month). I will have to say that at first this tingles for a minute or two but then it subsides. I usually leave it on for like 10-15 minutes then wash it off and my skin just looks healthy and less spotty. My skin looks smoother and radiant and the texture improves quite a lot. You have to be careful though using this, because it could irritate sensitive skin if left on for too too long. Don’t exfoliate before using this because this already does the job. Also, a little goes a long way, I have had this product for about 4 months now and I still have loads left.

2) Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay (18$ CAD)

You get so much product in this tub!!! For 18$ CAD you get 1 lb of product. And it lasts like forever. I have had this for almost a year and I haven’t even gotten to half the product. Basically, it’s powder that you can mix with water or apple cider vinegar, which then turns into clay. I prefer mixing it with apple cider vinegar because I feel it works better for me that way. It is recommended to apply for 10-15 minutes onto sensitive skin or 25 minutes to normal skin. I apply it and sometimes forget it’s there…even though can’t really forget it because it hardens. I usually like to bubble bath and have this on, like that with the heat vapors it stiffens less and I have an easier time removing it. This mask, no joke, removes every piece of gunk on your face, it deep cleans your pores that when you remove it, you’re seriously squeaky clean!!! Like baby bum shiny clean and smooth. I stay a little red after using it sometimes, but that’s because I leave a bit more than 15 mins and for sensitive skin, it is recommended not to.

 

If I had to choose between all my masks, these 2 definitely take the top prize. They give me results and they help keep my skin healthy and glowy.

If you’re looking into buying some potent masks that give instant results, I suggest you guys to look into these.

 

Hope this post helped!

Cheers x